“Wacky” is a dubious title to bestow on oneself. It brings to mind Mr. Furley or Screech or a gelatinous octopus fished from the bottom of a cereal box to be chucked against a wall. “Wacky” isn’t usually a word we want associated with our fried chicken. However, the tie-dyed truck belies a serious wing contender: Wacky Wing Wagon.
Owner Mike Borovansky named the truck based on the dictionary definition of wacky: something outside the ordinary that causes curiosity or suspicion. After training in the culinary arts at St. Paul’s Technical College, Borovansky embarked on his food truck career by piloting a yellow truck serving up his wings, sandwiches and burgers. But he quickly found that people weren’t all that jazzed about the sedate exterior, so he gave the wagon a tie-dyed-dipped makeover, complete with hippie chicken mascot.
Following the rule of the restaurant mascots: If there is a happy cartoon version of an animal available for feasting, you must first sample that. (Disclaimer: Do not use this rule when visiting Chuck E. Cheese.)
There are several varieties of wings available: plain, BBQ, Buffalo, and Jerk, for $6. At Borovansky’s suggestion, we ordered the Jerk, because we like it spicy.
The exterior crust crackled beneath our fingertips, shrouding succulent meat tucked around the bones. The Jerk seasoning was a dry rub with a little bit of zest, a perfect amount of salt, but not much of the promised spicy heat. That didn’t stop us from devouring the entire basket and licking our fingers afterward.
Wacky Wing Wagon also offers several burgers: a plain version, a cheeseburger, and one big beauty set atop a pretzel bun, layered with cheese, red onion, shredded lettuce, tomato, and a complex, house-made bacon jam for $8. The burger is a thin, well-done patty cloaked by cheese that melts into brown, crispy lace on the top of the griddle — a bite of fried gold. It’s topped by snappy raw onion, lettuce, and an out-of-season, mealy tomato (the one off-note on an otherwise good burger), and the flavors are all brought together by that ever-so-slightly sweet, smoky bacon jam. The pretzel bun makes an argument for putting all burgers on this bread, which actually contributes a nice toasty flavor rather than simply acting as a meat delivery system.
The burgers are available with fries or homemade chips. The chips are thinly sliced and served with a dose of seasoned salt. Getting a crispy chip is no easy feat, and they’ve cracked the code.
The Wacky Wing Wagon is based in St. Paul and has been parking most days near the Capitol.
The new truck Filius Blue has also been parked along Capitol row on John Ireland Blvd.
Chef and owner Kris Olson learned to love Caribbean and Latin flavors while teaching scuba diving and traveling through the tropical climes. He noticed prevalent items in every cuisine: a region’s own, unique sauce and a vast array of peppers. The truck is named for the Filius Blue pepper plant, whose fruit goes against convention by growing milder as it matures.
Olson’s menu is stacked with Caribbean flavors. Eaters can order their choice of meat: chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp in either a sandwich or a taco, then top it with a choice of sauce.
The pork tacos (above) are tucked into small flour tortillas and topped with all but a spicy kitchen sink: tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and onions, plus our selection of the aji criollo sauce — a fresh, garlicky, and cilantro-studded addition. The pork itself is sliced thinly and seared until crispy, and the resulting tacos are packed with flavor. Served alongside them is a Southern salad, a cool dish of sweet potatoes, onions, and black eyed peas, making for a full meal for $8.
Filius Blue also works with Eatiply, so if you purchase a specific dish at their truck they’ll donate a meal to the hungry. This day’s special was a Chilean Chacarero sandwich (above). Finger-sized pieces of steak are piled onto a bun with string beans, super juicy tomatoes, lettuce, and no-joke hot peppers. The steak was a little tough and the mess was too much for that squishy soft bun, but overall, the flavor riot won over any quibbles. That’s $9 you can feel good about spending.